For decades, Imran Khan positioned himself as a champion of equality, vowing to end corruption and preferential treatment reserved for the country’s high and mighty. But now those promises are coming back to haunt the Pakistani prime minister and his party after media reports said a ministry had set up ‘VVIP toilets’ for top officials.
Last week, The Express Tribune reported that “biometric recognition machines have been installed outside bathrooms” of the Ministry of Industries and Production for top-ranking officers in Islamabad, Pakistan’s federal capital city.
Quoting sources, the Tribune report said that the ‘VVIP’ bathrooms could only be used by an additional secretary or an officer above the rank.
“However, the sources added, one can go relieve themselves if they are serving at the same rank from another ministry,” the report said. The bathrooms for other staff members at the ministry were “bereft of even soaps and other basic toiletries.”
As the story went viral on social media, Pakistanis were quick to remind Khan and his party, the Pakistan Tehreek-e- Insaf, of their promises of austerity and ending the ‘VIP culture.’
Many joked that the biometric toilets were an attempt by the government to end VIP culture in Pakistan.
PTI introduces VVIP toilets as an attempt to end VIP culture. pic.twitter.com/ehAm3xe2Zt— Sohaib Furqan (@sfurqan92) July 19, 2019
There is nothing Pakistani bureaucrats and elites won't do to maintain a class system https://t.co/mZet3DTB6C— Nihari (@NihariFan) July 18, 2019